This year has been especially difficult for patients and families at Seattle Children’s. Spending time in the hospital is typically not a fun experience, and so for families who have to be inpatient during the holidays, the season may not feel as merry. To help spread joy and brighten up the holidays for children in the hospital, the Child Life team at Seattle Children’s found a new way for Santa to zoom into the hospital this year: they arranged virtual visits, because even during a pandemic, Santa wanted kids in the hospital to know he was thinking about them.
For Melissa Strilecki, 2020 has been more than a difficult year.
“2020 has been the worst year of our lives,” she said.
In May 2020, 3-year-old Hazel came down with what their family thought was a virus. At first, her symptoms didn’t seem insidious. She had a fever and was throwing up. A week later she started complaining of leg pain.
“She was in terrible pain,” Strilecki said. “We couldn’t even pick her up without her crying out.”
They called their pediatrician, and they were advised to take her to Seattle Children’s Emergency Department. At first, they thought her symptoms may have been caused by a bone infection, but after further testing, they received an unimaginable diagnosis: malignant cancer.
“You are told cancer is rare,” Strilecki said. “But it didn’t feel very rare.”
They were devastated. Read full post »